Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Child found alive in ocean after jumbo jet crash

Child found alive in ocean after jumbo jet crash: "Rescuers searching the wreckage of a downed Yemeni jet found a young child alive in the Indian Ocean. 'It is a miracle; I am glad the toddler is safe,' Jon Cox, an aviation expert, told CNN. The child is the only survivor from the Yemenia Airways flight, which was carrying 153 people to Comoros from Yemen's capital, Sanaa.


(Via CNN.com.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Yemeni plane crashes with 150 aboard

Yemeni plane crashes with 150 aboard: "A Yemeni jetliner with 150 people aboard has crashed in the Indian Ocean off the island nation of Comoros, aviation officials in Yemen said Tuesday. The Airbus A310, from the national airline Yemenia, was en route to Comoros when it crashed about an hour before it was due to land, an airline official said. There was no word on the fate of those on board. Most of the passengers were Comoran, an official at Sanaa's airport told CNN.


(Via CNN.com.)

USMC: GAO V-22 Report Misses The Mark

USMC: GAO V-22 Report Misses The Mark: "'The Osprey's performance in Iraq proved to us that it is safer, faster and can range farther than any helicopter'"

(Via Aerospace Daily & Defense Report on AviationWeek.com.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

One giant leap for space tourists in New Mexico

At a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson talked about the world's first facility for space tourists.

"New Mexicans have stepped up to the plate by making this investment," Richardson said. "This groundbreaking ceremony is an important step toward our goal of being at the forefront of a vibrant, new commercial space industry."

The almost $200 million project is funded by the state. Once completed, British business magnate Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic will begin taking tourists to space from the facility. Flights are expected to start in 2010.

Branson has said that he has a list of 45,000 people from 120 countries who have registered to take the space trips. It will cost $200,000 a ride, according to the Spaceport America Web site.

The spaceship will be connected to a specially designed carrier aircraft that will take it to about 50,000 feet, according to Virgin Galactic. The aircraft will release the spaceship, which will then use rockets to propel itself into space.

Virgin Galactic has envisioned one flight a week, with six tourists aboard.

The tourists will train for at least three days before going.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Bat planes at Kadena?

I found this on Google earth, at Kadena AFB Okinawa.

What do you suppose the building houses?

NASA sends orbiter to explore moon

NASA sends orbiter to explore moon: "Humans are a step closer to returning to the moon after NASA launched a lunar orbiter Thursday to provide a comprehensive survey of our nearest celestial neighbor. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter lifted off aboard an Atlas V Rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida, powered by two liquid-fueled engines and a pair of solid-fueled boosters. NASA described the liftoff as 'flawless.'


(Via CNN.com.)

U.S. ready if N. Korea launches missile

U.S. ready if N. Korea launches missile: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States could defend itself in the event of a North Korean missile launch toward Hawaii, and that U.S. officials were monitoring the situation carefully.


(Via CNN.com.)

U.S. spy aircraft patrol northern border

U.S. spy aircraft patrol northern border: "FORT DRUM, N.Y. — U.S. border officials are testing an unmanned surveillance aircraft on the U.S.-Canadian border along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River to judge whether the drones can be used more widely along the northern border."

(Via Air Force Times - News.)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't panic - its just a Spectre Gunship


from 27th Special Operations Wing
Public Affairs Office

6/18/2009 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- People living in the communities surrounding Cannon may notice some differences in night-flying operations since two AC-130H Spectre gunships arrived permanently for duty May 19.

According to 16th Special Operations Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Sean Farrell, the nature of the gunship mission calls for much of the training to be conducted in urban areas.

"When we deploy, we will often be flying over cities and tracking targets within those cities under the cover of night," he said. "So when we train at Cannon, it is imperative that some of our operations be done over cities at night as well."

Local residents may notice the low rumbling of gunships flying in circles overhead as aircrew perform training, flying at an altitude in which the oxygen is sufficient because the aircraft is not pressurized.

"Much of what we'll be doing is adjusting our sensors as we practice acquiring targets," said Colonel Farrell. "That will require us to fly in circles around the target. The communities we're flying over will hear us, but we will do our best to fly at altitudes that will limit the amount of noise. We want to be good neighbors, too."

Current Cannon Airfield operating hours are 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The AC-130H Spectre generally flies at night.

For more information about the AC-130H Spectre gunship and its mission, look at the fact sheet on www.cannon.af.mil or call the Cannon Public Affairs office at (575) 784-4131.

Plane Forced to Land After Pilot Dies

Plane Forced to Land After Pilot Dies

Shared via AddThis

Pilot Dies in Mid-Air - Plane Landed Sfely

Continental Airlines en route from Belgium landed safely in Newark, N.J., today after the pilot died midflight at the controls of a jet with 247 passengers onboard.

The Federal Aviation Administration says a plane carrying a pilot who died in mid-flight has landed safely at the airport in Newark, N.J.
(ABC News)
More Photos
The crew onbord the Boeing 777 included two trained pilots who took control of the plane and landed it at the airport just outside New York City. There were also federal air marshals onboard Continental Flight 61.

The 61-year-old pilot apparently died of natural causes, Continental said in a statement, and the passengers were not immediately told of his death, according to the airline.

"The crew on this flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased pilot. The flight continued safely with two pilots at the controls," according to Continental's statement.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NASA ready to explode one of the coolest space missions ever

NASA ready to explode one of the coolest space missions ever: "In an unprecedented scientific endeavor — and what may be one of the coolest space missions ever — NASA is preparing to fly a rocket booster into the moon, triggering a six-mile-high explosion that scientists hope will confirm the presence of water.


(Via digg.com: Stories / Popular.)

Space shuttle launch now set for Wednesday

Space shuttle launch now set for Wednesday: "NASA has rescheduled the launch of space shuttle Endeavour for 5:40 a.m. ET Wednesday, pushing back the planned launch of a separate lunar mission.


(Via CNN.com.)

Wild Thing? Not Quite

Wild Thing? Not Quite: "

No it's not another fuzzy image of the Beast of Kandahar. It's a Northrop Grumman concept for a ship-based fan-in-wing VTOL'unmanned cargo aircraft that for a time we all thought was called, however unlikely, the Wild Thing.

blog post photo
Concept: Northrop Grumman

The image was featured in a larger powerpoint slide from a briefing on unmanned systems given at Paris on Monday by Northrop's vp strike and surveillance systems Gene Fraser. The slide was intended to illustrate the company's broad capability to provide a range of unmanned systems operating in a networked environment (hence the yellow 'connectivity' lines).

When questioned about the unknown UAV on the chart, Fraser revealed Northrop has conducted windunnel tests of the beast, which is designed to lift podded payloads of up to 10,000lb from the flightdeck of any air-capable ship. That's about the same load carried by the U.S. Navy's Grumman C-2 Greyhound carrier onboard delivery aircraft - and that needs a full-size flattop to operate from.

And the name? Well a few hours later we were told by Northrop that it's not really the Wild Thing, it's the Mover. Which sounds more appropriate, but way less fun. {UPDATE - okay, sorry, it's MUVR...)


(Via Ares.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What Is This?

What Is This?: "

What is this? I've tweaked the photo a bit to remove the identifier under the name Talisman. Don't scroll down until you've had a hard think. And it's not a prop for the next James Bond film, or at least, not until the producers have seen it!

blog post photo

OK, so it looks like an E-type Jaguar 'absolutely on purpose' according to Andy Tonge, the project manager for the object in question, but BAE Systems has not gone into the car manufacturing business. If I tell you that Tonge told me that 'design rule number 1 was that it mustn't look like a torpedo and design rule number 2 was that it must not be yellow or orange,' you may get the hint.

Well, here is the untweaked photo:

blog post photo

Now you know, Talisman M (for mine-hunter) is an autonomous underwater vehicle using technology from the racing-car industry. Talisman M has a brand new little sister: Talisman L (for littoral) the prototype of which came out of its mould last Wednesday just in time for the Undersea Defence Technology Conference which opened in Cannes, France's Mediterranean resort town, today. 'We started designing this in early March,' Tonge told me and it was ready just in time for the show. Here it is with a hand in the photo to give you an idea of the size:

blog post photo

This one is portable by two people and was designed to be deployed from a rubber boat and used in shallow waters (it needs a minimum of 1m of water). 'This is for use in that moving boundary between defense and security,' Tonge told me.

photo credits: Christina Mackenzie


(Via Ares.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

STS-127 Mission Will Be Long and Busy

STS-127 Mission Will Be Long and Busy: "Robotics, spacewalks to dominate 16-day station assembly mission"

(Via Aviation Week & Space Technology on AviationWeek.com.)

CIA seeks to keep interrogation records secret

CIA seeks to keep interrogation records secret: "CIA Director Leon Panetta on Monday asked a federal judge to keep records of U.S. interrogations of top al Qaeda captives secret, arguing their release could cause 'exceptionally grave' damage to national security.


(Via CNN.com.)

Kim Jong Il's son 'not interested' in politics

Kim Jong Il's son 'not interested' in politics: "The eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in a rare television interview Tuesday, shed some light on who might eventually take over leadership of the country.


(Via CNN.com.)


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